Empower MSP Scottsdale—Email Security as Part of a Multi-Layered Defense

By Pete Roythorne 5 October, 2018

Day 1, Empower MSP Scottsdale, breakout session 2a— Dreas van Donselaar, Director, Product Management – Mail Assure at SolarWinds MSP. Empower MSP Scottsdale took place at JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, on September 18th and 19th 2018. 

At the start of his presentation, Dreas introduced SolarWinds® Mail Assure™ to the audience. “For those who haven’t heard about it yet, or as a short recap for those who have, Mail Assure is a cloud-based email security service providing email protection and email archiving,” he said. 

He then set out the key things he believes are important when selecting an email security platform:

  1. An email security platform should simply work and not need to be visible to your customers. 
  2. Having automated systems classify your email can be scary, so it’s not only important to have great filtering, you also want insight into your message flows to be able to troubleshoot connection and delivery issues. 
  3. If your mail server goes down for any reason, you want to leverage the cloud to act as a continuity layer until it’s back online.

“This is what we offer with SolarWinds Mail Assure,” he added. “Using our technology we protect approximately 1.8 million domains worldwide. This is relevant, as we require real-time global visibility on email, to help protect our customers against changing email threats.” 

Dreas explained that to stay spam-free, you need technology and data and went on to make two important points about mail assure:

  • The Mail Assure technology has been developed in-house “This is relevant because this way we can modify anything in our technology stack in case it requires modification,” he explained. “We cut out potential risk of a black-box situation where we don’t 100% control what is happening.”
  • Technology in itself won’t deliver good products “You need data to fuel self-learning technologies,” said Dreas. “Spam is both a local as well as international problem. You need as much data as you can to always stay on top of new spam outbreaks, fuel predictive and self-learning technologies. We were lucky that we started in the small country of The Netherlands, as it forced us from day one to take into account the many different variations of email you see per country or language group.”

Dreas was also keen to stress that you need more than just email security. “It’s likely you are already using other SolarWinds products to protect your endpoints; it’s important to educate your customers that IT security always should have multiple layers and protecting your email is just one of those,” he explained. 

Dreas continued: “We’re not just providing protection, we actually provide more control over email. Our log search allows us to quickly locate any connection to check its status. We rarely queue email, unless the destination mail server is temporarily not available. So if you do find queued emails, or inform yourself via an automatic Email Scout Report, you should troubleshoot why the destination server is not accepting the email. Besides our automatic classifiers, we also offer a full regular expression based configuration page where you can setup your own custom rules if needed. “

He also explained that Mail Assure is popular for customers on O365 or G Suite. Besides the additional security, it also offers an additional layer of control and visibility over mail flows. “Collaboration suites generally offer limited control, and this allows users a more optimal user experience,” he added. “By bundling Mail Assure with your Office 365 offering you can actually differentiate from your competition by adding additional value.”

Before going on to do a high-level product demo, Dreas provided a quick overview of the three services Mail Assure provides.

  • Incoming FilteringEmail continuity designed to protect from spam, viruses, ransomware, phishing, and malware.
  • Outgoing Filtering
    Abuse management designed to help avoid IP blacklisting and improve email continuity.
  • Email Archiving
    Built for peace of mind with an encrypted email backup.

 “I do want to elaborate a bit on how we actually develop Mail Assure,” stated Dreas. “Although we have quarterly development milestones, we strive for a weekly Mail Assure update. So this is a very actively developed product. Our development goes through planning, development, automated QA, merging to stable, then manual QA, and finally release. By updating weekly, reported bugs are generally solved very quickly, often faster than the four-week target.

“I very much rely on feedback and input from our customers. I’m very active on the ideas.solarwindsmsp.com page, and would encourage you to share improvement suggestions there. The weekly changes are published on the SolarWinds releases page where you can subscribe to for updates, or review the changes we have published over the past few months.”

The SolarWinds and SolarWinds MSP trademarks, service marks, and logos are the exclusive property of SolarWinds MSP Canada ULC, SolarWinds MSP UK Ltd. or its affiliates.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Original Article : Solarwinds MSP